Memorandum by Derek Turner Esq Director,
Street Management, Transport for London (WTC 85)
1. PREAMBLE AND
1.1 I was appointed to the position of Director
of Street Management, Transport for London in October 2000. From
1991 until then I was Traffic Director for London.
1.2 Transport for London is responsible
for developing and managing the Transport for London Road Network
(TLRN), 550 km of London's strategic road network including all
existing red routes and 38 km of other roads, including some of
motorway standard. I am charged with implementing the Mayor's
Transport Strategy (1), with specific responsibilities for improving
streets for all usersparticularly pedestrians, bus users,
cyclists and people with disabilities.
1.3 This evidence is written from a London
perspective. It covers the experience gained from implementing
the Red Route schemes from 1991 until 2000 (two, attached), the
proposals for further developments on the TLRN and for pedestrianising
other roads, and it deals with the implications for walking of
the Mayor's Transport Strategy.
2. THE ROLE
2.1 London-wide, people make seven million
journeys on foot every day. Walking is vital in four different
Complete journeysIn Inner London about
45 per cent of all journeys are made entirely on foot, and walking
accounts for about a quarter of all London's journeys.
Access to other modesWalking is necessary
for the use of other modes including public transport and access
to car parks.
Circulation/ExchangeIncludes window shopping,
meeting people, children's play, interfaces between shops, cafes
and the street and a wide range of public space activities that
cannot be described as travel.
purpose is simply to go for a walk.
3. BENEFITS OF
3.1 Better walking environments make a contribution
to better towns and cities. The main benefits are:-
Walking is sustainable. It uses less
space per person than any other mode, burns no fossil fuel, and
produces no harmful emissions. It can accommodate peaks in use
more easily and at less cost than any other mode.
Walking is healthy. The White Paper
"Saving Lives: Our Healthier Nation" 1999 showed how
important it is for people to keep physically active, especially
as more people have sedentary occupations. The health benefits
of walking are a reduced risk of heart diseases, osteoporosis,
diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer of the colon and depression
and anxiety (3). Walking enables exercise to be taken as part
of the normal daily routine.
Walking contributes to the development
of communities. What takes place on the pavements is an important
part of civic, social, commercial and political life.
Walking can help reduce car use by
attracting more journeys to walk/public transport with the benefits
of reduced car useair pollution, traffic noise, road crashes
and the deaths and injuries that accompany them.
Walking promotes social inclusion.
Walking is available to nearly everybody, regardless of gender,
ethnicity, education or income. Providing good conditions for
walking is important in order to reduce social division and on
grounds of equity.
4. TRENDS IN
4.1 Nationally there has been a 24 per cent
reduction in the distance people walk in the 21 years from 1975-76
to 1996-97 (4). This decline has prompted a number of initiatives
including "Encouraging Walking" (5) and this Inquiry.
The picture nationally is not uniform. For example census returns
show that trips on foot to work grew in York by 6 per cent between
1981 and 1991 and by lesser amounts in Norwich and Brighton (3).
4.2 Data on walking in London is inadequate
but what there is suggests that the decline in London is less
marked than nationally. A study commissioned by the London Planning
Advisory Committee and published in 1996 (6) examined a number
of data sources. The National Travel Survey data for London showed
that between 1975-76 and 1992-93 (the most recent for which data
was available) walking fell from 36 per cent to 34 per cent of
all trips in Greater London. In contrast walking by residents
in Inner London appears to have increased by about 15 per cent
between 1985-86 and 1991-93.
5. REASONS FOR
5.1 The decline in walking is associated
with the increase in car ownership and use. Nationally from 1975-76
to 1996-97 the distance travelled by walk fell by 24.3 per cent
to 193 miles per year per person while the distance travelled
by car increased by 65.4 per cent to 5,292 miles per year per
5.2. Planning laws have facilitated the
geographical dispersal that has accompanied a period of relatively
cheap fuel and growing car ownership and use. Many people have
responded to this by relocating their homes and jobs so that they
require a car for many or all of their household's travel needs.
5.3 The increase in walking in York, Norwich
and Brighton referred to above are in cities that have high-density
cores, inner residential neighbourhoods with significant lengths
of traffic-free pedestrian routes and authorities with strong
pro-pedestrian policies (3).
5.4 The analysis of walking in London (6)
showed that residents in Outer London with higher incomes, higher
car ownership, less congested roads and easier parking undertake
about twice the number of car journeys as residents in Inner London.
Inner London residents on the other hand undertake 73 per cent
more walk trips. The walking share for the journey to work between
1971 and 1991 declined slowly in Inner London from 19 per cent
to 13 per cent. In Outer London the decline was sharper from 15
per cent to 9 per cent.
5.5 People appear to choose the car for
journeys that could easily be made on foot. In London in the morning
peak 15 per cent of car trips are less than a kilometre (6). In
the same period 18 per cent of car trips are people taking children
to school, of which 49 per cent are less than 1.0 km. Over the
whole day 38 per cent of car trips are less than 2.5 km. These
figures demonstrate the considerable potential for a transfer
of relatively short trips from car to foot.
5.6 It is difficult to draw absolute conclusions
from the data. My view, based on the available evidence and over
20 years experience working in transport in London is that the
following factors contribute to undermining walking:-
Availability of private transportthe
vehicle, road space and parking space.
Declining public transportwith
walking playing a key role as an access mode.
Low density developments that increase
travel distance beyond walking length.
Barriers to walkingwhich I
6. BARRIERS TO
6.1 Walking is extremely sensitive to distance
so that a dominant factor is the design and location of activities.
The planning process needs to minimise the distance people need
to travel and promote walking by raising densities in urban areas,
locating activities at public transport centres and promoting
mixed uses. Other factors that have been identified as barriers
to walking include:
A poor quality pedestrian environment
covering inadequate footway widths and maintenance standards,
excessive gradients, absent or inadequate pedestrian crossings,
litter, dog fouling, ugly street scenes, lack of seating, public
toilets, signing and information, standing water leading to splashing.
Inadequate pedestrian safety including
too many accidents and fear of accidents, obstructions on the
footway, inadequate or poorly maintained lighting, illegal cycling
on footways, absent or inadequate pedestrian crossings (3, MORI
1995 and National Consumer Council 1998).
Inadequate personal security including
fear of assault, people hanging about, poor lighting, places for
strangers to hide, lonely places, drunks, subways and alleyways,
uneven pavements, pavement parking by cars and cycling on the
footway, busy roads and faster traffic (9).
6.2 There has been a negative spiral of
journeys transferring from walking to car, leading to more car
traffic which worsens conditions for the pedestrian. Additional
traffic has led to road widening with longer crossing distances
by foot. In some areas subways have been introduced to segregate
traffic and these are unattractive for pedestrians for security
and other reasons. High volumes of traffic have prevented the
provision of full pedestrian phases (green man) at some traffic
light controlled intersections. The higher traffic flows have
also led to worsening air pollution which has made walking less
pleasant down busy streetsthis creates a vicious circle
as more people drive rather than walk.
6.3 The fear of road danger prevents many
people from making local journeys, and encourages parents to prevent
their children from going about on foot, instead substituting
car escort trips for their children's walking trips.
7. ROAD ACCIDENTS
7.1 In London for 1999 (the latest year
for which data is available) pedestrians made up 19.7 per cent
of the total casualties from road accidents but accounted for
30.4 per cent of the seriously injured casualties and 51.1 per
cent of the fatalities (7).
7.2 In 1987 the Secretary of State for Transport
set a single national target of a one third reduction in casualties
by the year 2000 from the 1981-1985 base level. The total pedestrian
casualties in 1999 were 31.3 per cent fewer than in 1981-1985
base level. The equivalent change for all casualties was only
15.3 per cent.
7.3 The high number of pedestrian casualties
and the severity of their injuries reflect their vulnerability
to injury from motorised vehicles. Accidents involving pedestrians
are a matter of great concern for the Mayor and for Transport
for London. London's Draft Inner Road Safety Plan (8) has recently
been released for consultation. In this document specific targets
have been identified for a reduction of 40 per cent in the number
of killed and seriously injured pedestrians by the year 2010.
The Plan sets out a framework for joint work to achieve this including
more and better pedestrian crossing facilities on the TLRN and
a range of measures to reduce excessive and inappropriate speeds
and to introduce Home Zones that will assist pedestrians.
8.1 My job from 1991 to 2000 was to oversee
the design and implementation of traffic management measures on
London's Red Route Network, as well as to monitor the operation
of the network and to maintain the Red Route signs and lines.
The objectives I was set to do this work by the Government included
the following that are relevant for walking, amongst others:-
Facilitate the movement of people
and goods in Londonreliably and safely and with the minimum
overall environmental impact.
Provide better conditions for people
Improve the local environment and
reduce the impact of congestion.
Contribute to London's targets for
reduced traffic accidents and road vehicle emissions.
Support reduced car commuting, especially
into or across Inner London.
8.2 Typical examples of Red Route benefits
include new and improved bus lanes, extra and improved pedestrian
crossings, new cycle lanes, free parking spaces for orange Badge
Holders and new trees.
8.3 For many years those planning London's
roads neglected the needs of the pedestrian. As Traffic Director
for London I worked towards redressing the balance to make sure
London's roads cater for all road users.
8.4 Many physical measures are standard
features on Red Routesfor example:-
Decent pavements without steep kerbs
Removal of obstructions and unnecessary
street furniture, such as by using cranked poles for traffic signal
heads to give more space to pedestrians.
Reflective bands on street furniture.
8.5 One key feature of the Red Routes is
the side road entry treatment. This involves raising the level
of the road to that of the footway, to make crossing easier, and
widen the footways to reduce the crossing distance. Such measures
given greater priority to pedestrians in addition to reducing
the speed of vehicles entering and existing side roads. A summary
of some of the individual schemes is given in an appendix to this
8.6 Key achievements of the programme for
pedestrians along the 512 km of the Red Routes (2) include:
607 New signalled pedestrian crossings
on the Red Route.
1,040 Side road entry treatments.
924 Dropped kerbs provided.
260 Pedestrian islands/refuges provided.
8.7 The impact of these measures on pedestrian
satisfaction and use is difficult to measure but there have been
two indicators that are significant:
A 9 per cent drop in pedestrian accidents
where Red Route measures have been in place for more than two
years compared with less than 2 per cent reduction in total pedestrian
casualties in London in the last two years. (2, 10)
A 12.5 per cent increase in pedestrian
flows at shopping centres where Red Route measures had been introduced
compared with an 8 per cent reduction at centres where Red Route
measures had not been introduced (11).
9. THE MAYOR'S
9.1 The Mayor of London has recently published
his Draft Transport Strategy. In it he recognises that transport
is London's most serious problem. The first priority will be to
create a world-class transport system which enhances business
efficiency, ensures a wider spread of the fruits of economic prosperity
and improves the quality of life of every Londoner.
9.2 The Chapter on promoting walking includes
a number of policies and proposals including:-
The Mayor, through Transport for
London and the boroughs, will aim to create a connected, safe,
convenient and attractive environment which encourages people
to walk and enriches their experience of being out and about,
making London one of the most walking friendly cities for pedestrians
Transport for London, Street Management
(TfL, SM) will work with the boroughs and other relevant organisations
to ensure the effective promotion and delivery of better conditions
TfL, SM will progress the World Squares
project (described more fully below) with the partial pedestrianisation
of Trafalgar Square as the first stage.
TfL, SM and the boroughs will develop
north to south and east to west pedestrian routes across the city
as an initial step towards a network of routes where pedestrians
are given priority.
TfL, SM will adopt five green walking
routes; the London Outer Orbital Path, the Capital Ring, the Thames
Path National Trail, the Jubilee Walkway and the South-East Green
TfL, SM, in partnership with the
boroughs, will establish streetscape guidelines and set minimum
standards for the maintenance and management of London's streets,
including repair of footways, signing, avoiding clutter, removing
graffiti and rubbish, keeping streets adequately illuminated and
the provision of CCTV.
TfL, SM, in conjunction with the
boroughs, will develop best practice guidance on audits of pedestrian
facilities and accessibility, including issues related to safety
and the needs of disabled people.
TfL, SM will introduce a road safety
plan that will include a target of a 40 per cent reduction in
the number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured by the year
TfL, SM will consult on the introduction
of a congestion charge scheme for Central London to reduce traffic
levels by between 10-15 per cent with consequential improvements
for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users.
10. FUTURE PROPOSALS
10.1 Implementing the Mayor's Transport
Strategy, after it is finalised and approved, will make a significant
improvement for pedestrians in London. The strategy includes the
following specific proposals.
10.2 The Congestion Charging Scheme for
Central London. This scheme is proposed in the Draft Strategy,
it is subject to extensive consultations before decisions are
taken. The scheme involves charging £5 per day for vehicles
to enter an area bounded by the Inner Ring Roadroughly
the alignment of the Circle Underground Line. The scheme is expected
to reduce vehicle flows by between 10 to 15 per cent with an increase
in public transport usage, walking and cycling. Benefits for pedestrians
include a reduction in traffic flows, with much less incidence
of queues of stationary or slow moving traffic with noxious emissions.
The reduction in traffic flows will allow for some widening footways
and improved road crossings.
10.3 Initial consultations have shown substantial
support from key stakeholders for taking the scheme forward.
10.4 World Squares for AllPartial
pedestrianisation of Trafalgar Square. The Masterplan for World
Squares (an area of central London including Trafalgar Square
and Parliament Square) was developed in 1998 and adopted after
extensive consultation. The first stage of the project is for
the partial pedestrianisation of Trafalgar Square, with all vehicular
traffic taken away from the northern side of the Square.
10.5 Trafalgar Square is the hub of London
with most of London's defining activities close by. The Square
is now a busy traffic gyratory and conditions for pedestrians
are poor. It can take up to nine minutes to cross from one side
of the Square to the other, with most of the time spent waiting
to cross roads. Crossing has to be done in several stages, and
space is limited.
10.6 The scheme will provide two new pedestrian
crossings to the south and east of the Square and a new central
staircase to link the Square with the new space in front of the
National Gallery. The proposals would give pedestrians better
access to some of central London's key areas, such as the South
Bank, Strand, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden,
Leicester Square and Whitehall.
10.7 Extending the Red Route approach. The
Red Route approach described above will be vigorously applied
across the whole of the TLRN, with benefits for pedestrians.
11. SKILLS, TRAINING
11.1 The shortages of suitable professional
staff in the field of transport planning and traffic management
have been clearly identified (12). Recently Street Management
has found difficulties in recruiting a wide range of staff. The
difficulty is not that professional staff do not have the experience
or training necessary to develop and implement pedestrian policies
and strategies, but that there are not enough suitable professional
11.2 The skills necessary to promote walking
are not particularly difficult to acquire for a person already
qualified at a general level in the field of engineering or planning.
However there are too few people coming into these fields. The
civil engineering departments of many universities are desperately
short of new students to the point where their continued viability
is in doubt. Engineering and planning are not popular subjects
for young people with talent.
11.3 The Engineering Council have worked
for a number of years seeking to raise the status of engineers
to levels that apply in many European countries. The Institution
of Civil Engineers has recently set up a working party to address
the problem of shortages in skilled staff in the planning and
development of the built environment. The Committee could benefit
from the findings of this working group when they emerge.
12. THE ROLE
12.1 The Government has published much useful
material to support walking, including guidance and advice. This
approach has not been successful in preventing the decline in
12.2 Land Use. Despite PPG 13 there still
appears to be continued development that is not sympathetic to
the needs of the pedestrian. Car based retail developments, employment
sited away from public transport facilities and low density residential
developments without adequate walking facilities and public transport
services all undermine walking. Some London boroughs have promoted
car-free residential developments but more needs to be done to
promote mixed uses in town centres. A study into the effects of
PPG 13 was initiated by the DETR but I do not believe that the
results have yet been published. There is anecdotal evidence that
government offices do not lead the way in restricting parking
spaces for their staff and promoting green forms of travel.
12.3 Funding and implementation. It appears
that the allocation of funding does not always support walking.
Maintenance standards for footways are not sufficient with far
more people admitted to accident and emergency departments from
footway falls as are injured in road traffic accidents (13). Maintenance
funding needs to be directed more clearly towards footways rather
12.4 Within Transport for London sufficient
funding has been allocated to maintain the TLRN footways to satisfactory
standards and priority is given to this type of work.
All of the London boroughs are required to produce
local plans that set out how the boroughs will carry out the Major's
Transport Strategy. Guidance for preparing these plans from TfL
refers to "Boroughs ... should encourage walking and priority
should be attached to addressing pedestrian's needs." Specific
guidelines are provided on how boroughs should tackle particularly
bad severance points that break up pedestrians' preferred routes
and how schemes should be based on audits of existing pedestrian
routes that include safety and the needs of disabled people.
13. TARGETS AND
13.1 I am aware that the Advisory Group
to "Encouraging Walking" (5) recommended setting national
targets including increasing to one third the proportion of journeys
where walking is the main mode. Specific targets for walking are
difficult. We do not understand enough about the factors affecting
walking to be able to forecast the outcomes of actions to promote
walking. It is easier to adopt an approach that seeks to halt
and then reverse the decline. I believe that monitoring is essential
and surveys and assessments of schemes need to cover the numbers
13.2 A national strategy could be beneficial.
Many of the component parts have been identified in recent publications
(1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 14). The strategy could identify the methods of
encouragement and sanctions that could be used to ensure that
good practice to encourage walking is adopted by all the relevant
1. The Mayor's Draft Transport Strategy.
2. Pedestrians and People with Disabilities
and Red Routes. Traffic Director for London April 2000.
3. Guidelines for Providing for Journeys
on Foot. The Institution of Highways and Transportation 2000.
4. Transport Statistics Bulletin National
Travel Survey: 1996-97 Update. DETR August 1999.
5. Putting London Back on its Feet, London
Planning Advisory Committee and Metropolitan Transport Research
Unit September 1996.
6. Accidents and Casualties on London's
Roads 1999. London Accident Analysis Unit. November 2000.
7. London's Draft Interim Road Safety Plan.
Street Management, Transport for London, January 2001.
8. Personal Safety Issues in Pedestrian
Journeys. DETR May 1999.
9. Towards the Year 2000. Monitoring Casualties
in Greater London. Tel Street Management October 2000.
10. Red Routes and Retailing. Results of
the 1998 Surveys. Traffic Director for London February 2000.
11. What is a Transport Planner? Transport
Skills for the New Millennium, the report of High Wenban-Smith
and Bill Billington. Kennington Publishing ISBN 1899 62027X.
12. DTI 1990 Home and Leisure Accident Research.
13. Encouraging walking: advice to local
authorities DETR March 2000.
14. Designing Streets for People. Consultation
draft. The Institution of Civil Engineers. August 2000.